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October 13, 2010 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-10-13

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a

4A - Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
k A420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@umich.edu

JACOB SMILOVITZ
EDITOR IN CHIEF

RACHEL VAN GILDER
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

MATT AARONSON
MANAGING EDITOR

Unless you comprehend the nature of
what is being asked of you, this country can't
possibly move through the next ten years in
a period of relative strength."
- President John F. Kennedy, on the steps of the Union on October 14, 1960, in
a speech that laid the groundwork for the creation of the Peace Corps.

Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Compassion for pot
State should legalize recreational marijuana use
T hough medicinal marijuana in the state was made legal in
2008, the issue is still causing problems for patients who
have a prescription for the drug. On Aug. 25, 16 Michi-
gan residents were arrested in Oakland County and charged with
violating the state's medical marijuana act. This is yet another
example of the negative consequences of the state's still-ambig-
uous medicinal marijuana law. This law should be revised so that
patients who have been prescribed marijuana have an easy and
clear way to access the drug that they need. To further ease the
stigma related to use of the drug, the Michigan legislature should
simply completely legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

i

ROSE JAFFE

E-MAILROSEAT ROSEJAFF@UMICH.EDU

ptO(RATS WE CAN fo- R
ILP IOMVI U Lks A 0
pang e Absinevic .
~co~ofV~ QMOC~ raim4'o4 J C rsu0"?

The Oakland County Sheriff's Narcotics
Enforcement Team made the arrests fol-
lowing raids at medical marijuana facilities
in Ferndale and Waterford. 16 people who
were arrested were charged in violation of
the medical marijuana act. According to
an Oct. 7 report by the Detroit Free Press,
Oakland County Sherriff Michael Boucha-
rd claims that drug abuse and dealing was
discovered at the sites by undercover police
officers, which prompted the raids. On Oct.
7, there was a hearing in Waterford to estab-
lish dates for upcoming hearings in Novem-
ber for 10 of the defendants. According to an
Oct. 8 article in The Detroit News, hundreds
of people gathered outside of a Waterford
District Court buildingto protest the charg-
es against the individuals.
One of the biggest areas of contention is
the compassion club targeted in the Water-
ford raid. Compassion clubs are areas in
which medical marijuana patients can inter-
act while they use the drug. Bouchard has
argued compassion clubs are illegal. But the
members of the compassion club who were
arrested were in adherence with reasonable
interpretations of the medicinal marijuana
law. In any other circumstance, there would
be no problem with people using a prescrip-
tion drug in the presence of others or groups
of people all using a properly prescribed

drug. And medical marijuana is a legal drug.
The state legislature should clean up this
vague, contradictory law.
The failure of the medical marijuana leg-
islation lies in part in the seeming unwill-
ingness of law enforcement to look at it as
a legal prescription drug. Many prescription
drugs - and some legal drugs, like alcohol
- can be abused. Yet, these drugs are gener-
ally granted acceptance by law enforcement
and the public. The Michigan legislature
needs to revise the law so that it isn't subject
to the interpretation of potentially biased
law enforcement officials.
Another, more easy way to solve the prob-
lems with current medical marijuana laws
would be to completely legalize marijuana
for recreational use. Beside the fact that
legalizing recreational marijuana use could
help to create anew industry inthe state and
aid the economy, the use of marijuana use is
a victimless crime. Like alcohol, marijuana
is only dangerous when residents don't fol-
low precautionary laws and choose to drive
under the influence.
Current medical marijuana laws are
incomplete and have led to injustice. The
state must now take action to repair the
laws. But to allow citizens to exercise their
personal freedoms, the use of recreational
marijuana should be legalized.

I like it off my newsfeed

0

to about time that someone said
it. And as much as I would love
to take credit for what I think
is a rather clever
play on words, that
honor belongs to
a good friend of
mine who probably ,
didn't anticipate
that I would write
an entire column1
about one of his
status updates. But
as you can prob- NOEL
ably tell, his light- GORDON
hearted jab at the
now infamous "I
like it on the floor"
campaign captures just how frus-
trated I am with this annoying, albeit
well-intentioned, fad.
October is Breast Cancer Aware-
ness month. And according to the
National Cancer Institute, breast
cancer is the second-most common-
ly diagnosed type of cancer among
women in the United States. Approx-
imately 192,000 women and 2,000
men learn that they have it each year.
In Great Britain, the disease afflicts
46,000 women annually- the equiv-
alent of one person every 11 minutes.
These statistics prove that breast
cancer is a serious problem that
affects men and women around the
globe. And I think most people would
agree with me in saying that more
should be done to raise awareness
about its devastating effects. But sex-
ual innuendos are not the way to do
it. By effectively turning breast can-
cer into the butt of everyone's joke,
campaign organizers ran the risk of
losing their message. Sure, it might

be catchy. But catchy doesn't always
mean effective. So although "I like
it on the floor" might've been a good
idea in theory, I don't think it works
as well in practice.
Even if all 3,219 of your friends
update their statuses with places
they like it the most, it doesn't do
anyone a whole lot of good if only
200 of them actually understand the
reason for changing their status in
the first place. Arbitrary numbers
aside, I think that there could have
been a much better way to organize
the campaign so that it didn't come
across as just a bunch of hormonally
charged teenagers trying to one-up
each other.
The Human Rights Campaign, one
of America's most prominent LGBTQ-
affiliated organizations, developed an
effective strategy to successfully raise
awareness about the harms of bully-
ing and other issues facing the queer
community. On National Coming
Out Day, Facebook users were able to
update their statuses with pre-written
messages that read something to the
effect of:
"National Coming Out Day is
Tomorrow. It's 2010 and almost 90%
of LGBT youth experience harass-
ment in school, and too many lives
have been lost. Tell the Secretary of
Education to include gender identity
and sexual orientation in anti-bully-
ing programs."
Or: "____ is a straight ally and
National Coming Out Day is tomorrow.
I'm coming out for lesbian, gay, bisexu-
al and transgender equality because it's
2010 and almost 90% of LGBT youth
experience harassment in school, and
too many lives have been lost. Donate

your status and join me."
While those two options certainly
don't have the same punch to them
as "I like it on top of the washing
machine," it is nearly impossible to
misconstrue the point each one is
trying to make. And I think that's
where the 'I like it on the floor' cam-
paign fails miserably.
Viral campaigns
should be more
than just catchy.
Raising awareness about a par-
ticular issue is all well and good. But
it doesn't mean much if it isn't fol-
lowed up with some kind of action.
If I hadn't done any research for this
column, I probably never would have
known that there was an official web-
site for the "I like it on the floor" cam-
paign that not only explains the idea
behind the fad, but also connects visi-
tors with tons of ways to get actively
involved. I never would have found
out about this valuable resource had
I only read my roommate's status
update about how much he likes it on
top of a horse.
All in all, the "I like iton the floor"
campaign gets an A for effort. But
until it's orchestrated into something
a bit more cohesive and effective, I'd
like it off my newsfeed.
- Noel Gordon can be reached
at noelaug@umich.edu.

I
I

ROGER SAUERHAFT
Ill-timed 'You Suck' sucks

Perhaps I'm simply scapegoating after the
tough, depressing loss to our little brothers in
East Lansing, but I think someone really needs
to sit our school marching band director down
and explain to him how mind-numbingly stu-
pid he makes us all (and himself) look with the
"You Suck" chant.
I've been grumbling, if not venting, to my
friends for the past three years about how
angry it makes me when everyone around me
sings this on every fourth down even if the
opponent isn't punting. It doesn't take a foot-
ball mastermind to realize the irony when the
opposing team puts points on the board scarce-
ly seconds after the "You Suck" chant ends.
It's a crushing feeling when this happens on
the fourth down as I stand silent in the middle
of the student section wishing nobody would
pay attention to band director. The stupidity
embarrasses me each and every time.
Saturday was the worst of all. With just over
12 minutes left in the game, Michigan was
down 31 to 17 and Michigan State had the ball.
We absolutely couldn't let Michigan State score
again, but after they drove the ball downfield
to the 11-yard line, fourth down was reached
and Michigan State lined up for a short field
goal to cement the game's outcome. I knew our
chances to win were slim to none, but my only
hope was that everyone would have some com-
mon sense.
No such luck. Our band immediately led
our fans in a chorus letting Michigan State
know they sucked for having their drive stall
on fourth down and - right on cue - the ball
sailed through the uprights for the field goal.
Game, set, match.
A couple of Michigan State fans standing
near me enjoyed this spectacle greatly, snicker-
ing about the joke we'd justplayed on ourselves.
They saw me quietly brooding during the chant
and I think they felt bad for me. It was perhaps
my lowest moment at Michigan. And in case
that wasn't enough, the band director tried to
start the chant again after Michigan State ran
the ball up the middle three times to eat up the
clock. Thankfully, nobody followed the band's

lead this time. If they had, I would have sold
my remaining season tickets and never come
back to the Big House. Michigan State kept the
ball on a penalty anyway, so it's pretty clear
who got the last laugh.
Just imagine if we'd been in their shoes
with the East Lansing faithful chanting "you
suck" at us in the same situations in a game
during which we blew them out in their sta-
dium. There's no doubt in my mind that we'd
be laughing ourselves silly at their stupidity
and making our typical disparaging comments
about their academic standards.
To clarify my stance here, I support the "You
Suck" chant in situations where the opposing
offense isn't blatantly in a position to convert
on fourth down or kick a meaningful field-
goal. And yes, it's also bad to do it when the
other team is running down the clock late in
the fourth quarter to protect a huge lead (and
to avoid running up the score, which is an act
of sportsmanship). The chant is somewhat
funny, but it really isn't any more creative than
something a middle school Catholic Youth
organization basketball crowd could concoct.
It's certainly not at all classy. Yet, if the timing
reflected the intelligence of someone with an
IQ at least in double digits, I'd be all for it.
I'm not claiming any particular expertise in
the game of football, but something needs to
change, and it's really just the timing. If you're
going to tell someone something as unoriginal
and classless as "you suck," it has to be done
selectively. It's hard to endorse a chant so class-
less and pointless. But if I do, I'd rather not look
like a complete fool in the process.
My family and I are deeply rooted in Michi-
gan tradition, and this bothers me a great deal
because it makes a mockery of Michigan. It
makes us look stupid, and I'm proud to say this
isn't something I'm used to feeling about my
school. It's bad whether we win or lose - and
when we do lose, it's salt in our own wound.
There needs to be change immediately here
and it's all timing, timing, timing.
Roger Sauerhaft is an LSA senior.

EMILY ORLEY I

0

A passive generation

0

The 1960s - a decade heavily shaped by the Vietnam
War - was a period of time at the University that sparked
rage and revolt on campus. The experience of the students
that matriculated through the University duringthose 10
years was marked by the war and its overall effect on the
country. Exactly 50 years later, in the midst of yet another
war, it seems our campus is immune to what's going on
outside of Ann Arbor's city limits.
About two years ago, right after returning from
Thanksgiving break, I met a friend for dinner. I began to
discuss the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India - a three-
day affair that gripped the globe until the captives were
safely rescued. My break was consumed by discussion of
the attacks. Every newspaper I read or television network
I watched covered the conflict. But my friend had no idea
what I was talking about. I explained the situation with a
slight sense of horror at her naivete.
Our generation exists in a society that is constantly
surrounded by technology. And yet, we seem to have a
disconnected wire from the realities of the real world.
Students walk around campus on their iPods or Blackber-
rys, engrossed in the superficial world held in their hands.
And while I have no doubt that they are using the devices
for productive purposes, they take what they learn and
store it in their brain and continue on their way. Never on
campus do you hear about a protest against this dragged-
out war on terror the likes of which you would have seen
in the 1960s. Or the genocide occurring in Darfur. Our
generation, followingsuch a proactive one, is surprisingly
passive.
Today and tomorrow, we commemorate the 50th anni-
versary of the creation of the Peace Corps - a volunteer
organization that sends citizens to worn and torn coun-
tries in an attempt to help repair the damage. Then-pres-
idential candidate John F. Kennedy first announced the
concept of a Peace Corps-type organization during a late
night address on the steps of the Michigan Union.

That speech almost didn't occur. Kennedy was running
late that evening and told his advisors to cancel the event.
But the advisors disputed his decision. They informed
Kennedy that the students were so eager to hear him
and that they were so desperate to support him that he
must show up. Around 2 a.m., the presidential candidate
arrived inAnn Arbor to finda sea of students surrounding
the Union.
In my three years at the University, I have only once
seen a similar passion - November 4, 2008, on the night
that Barack Obama was elected president. In the two and
a half years since Obama was elected, many events have
occurred worthy of students' attention. And with a cru-
cial election for the state of Michigan quickly approach-
ing, it's essential that our generation rallies the troops on
the Union steps (pun intended) to support a cause or a
candidate.
Many students spend their summers working on Capi-
tol Hill or at large banks, witnessing our society's prob-
lems from an internal view. We have the opportunities to
intern for senators and read proposed bills on their way to
Congress or work on Wall Street and observe the effects
of the economy's downward spiral and attempted repair.
But when summer ends and we return to Ann Arbor, our
exposure and impact diminish. Influence doesn't have
to be contingent on location. Students need to maintain
those ties and remember those issues when they are at
school and apply them to their classwork and lifestyle.
In honor of the anniversary of this historic affair and
in recognition of a pivotal race for governor heating up,
I encourage each of us to take a stance on an important
issue affecting our generation and create new memora-
ble events. Whether it pertains to political office or eco-
friendly cups in the cafeteria, we all need to find an issue
to become more passionate about.
Emily Orley is a senior editorial page editor.

0

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Aida Ali, Jordan Birnholtz, Adrianna Bojrab, Will Butler, Eaghan Davis, Michelle DeWitt,
Ashley Griesshammer, Will Grundler, Jeremy Levy, Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley,
Harsha Panduranga, Tommaso Pavone, Leah Potkin, Asa Smith, Laura Veith

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